I had a novel submission to get off to the RNA by midnight last Friday and I still had to prepare my 4 workshops for the NAWG Fest 2019, which was also starting on Friday.
Would I do it? Or would I …
Reader, I failed.
Now, I was going to lie. Or at least, ‘omit’ to tell you that I didn’t send off my novel manuscript because, quite frankly, I am ashamed and embarrassed. (And kicking myself at a lost opportunity and a lost £135 because that’s what I paid to re-join the New Writers’ Scheme in January and I principally joined for the manuscript critique. Ha! *gives hollow laugh*).
I also feel bad because I effectively wasted a place on that scheme that someone else (someone organised, who could have benefitted from it!), could have taken. Sorry, if that was you.
Anyway, it’s water under the bridge now, so I’m not going to
bore you with all the details harp on about it. Suffice to say, I thought I should ‘fess up’ because it’s easy to show an edited ‘golden’ version of your writing life on social media and blogs (i.e.: just the good times and the successes) and I think it’s only fair to show the bad bits too. Because we all have them.
On a more positive note, I DID prepare my 4 workshops for NAWG Fest in good time, they were all really well attended and seemed to be well received and I had a great time and met lots of lovely people.
The guest speakers at the Gala Dinner on Saturday night, were husband-and-wife crime writing duo Sean French and Nicky Gerrard, who write as ‘Nicci French’ and guess what… I sat next to them at dinner! I felt very honoured and it was lovely to be able to chat to them both before they stood up at the end of the meal to give their (excellent) talk.
NAWG, in case you’re wondering (and it does sound a bit like you’ve got an adenoid problem when you say it), stands for ‘National Association of Writers’ Groups’.
You can join as a writing group, obviously or also as an individual and they run several writing competitions a year, which you can enter for free as part of your membership (plus, as a member, you get a discount on the annual Festival).
But you can attend all or part of the Festival, for a slightly higher fee, even if you’re not a member of the Association, which was something I hadn’t realised. All the deets, as they say, are on their website, PLUS, if you’re interested, they’ve got an open short story competition with a theme of Betrayal, which closes on 30th November.
It was strange to be back at Warwick University for NAWGFest, as I used to work there 8 or 9 years ago. I was actually teaching my short story workshops in the Humanities building, just yards away from my old office and old department. But in those days, I was part of the admin team (ahem, you’ll know this if you’ve ever worked at a University – unless you are at the very least a lecturer, you’re a nobody, regardless of how many degrees or qualifications you’ve got).
This time, I was there as a teacher, with my own class. As I strolled down the corridors, enjoying myself a million times more than I ever did when I worked there, I had a little swagger in my step, I must admit.Another bit of good news: over the weekend I won a Writers Bureau course in the raffle!
I used to work for the Writers Bureau, as a poetry tutor, so that’s another example of things coming ‘full circle’: now, instead of being a tutor, I’m going to be one of their students.
I will keep you posted on which course I decide to choose but maybe ‘Writing Articles’. I do write the odd (very odd!) article but I’ve never really spread my wings (it’s only ever been for one or two publications) and perhaps this will be the push I need to start getting my work out there a little more.